Accurate partial atomic charges for high-energy molecules using class IV charge models with the MIDI! basis set

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We have recently developed a new class IV charge model for calculating partial atomic charges in molecules. The new model, called charge model 3 (CM3), was parameterized for calculations on molecules containing H, Li, C, N, O, F, Si, S, P, Cl, and Br by Hartree-Fock theory and by hybrid density functional theory (HDFT) based on the modified Perdew-Wang density functional with several basis sets. In the present article, we extend CM3 for calculating partial atomic charges by Hartree-Fock theory with the economical but well balanced MIDI! basis set. Then, using a test set of accurate dipole moments for molecules containing nitramine functional groups (which include many high-energy materials), we demonstrate the utility of several parameters designed to improve the charges in molecules containing both N and O atoms. We also show that one of our most recently developed CM3 models that is designed for use with wave functions calculated at the mPWXPW91/MIDI! level of theory (where X denotes a variable percentage of Hartree-Fock exchange) gives accurate charge distributions in nitramines without additional parameters for N and O. To demonstrate the reliability of partial atomic charges calculated with CM3, we use these atomic charges to calculate polarization free energies for several nitramines, including the commonly used explosives 1,3,5-trinitro-s-triazine (RDX) and 2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (HNIW), in nitromethane. These polarization energies are large and negative, indicating that electrostatic interactions between the charge distribution of the molecule and the solvent make a large contribution to the free energy of solvation of nitramines. By extension, the same conclusion should apply to solid-state condensation. Also, in contrast to some other charge models, CM3 yields atomic charges that are relatively insensitive to the presence of buried atoms and small conformational changes in the molecule, as well as to the level of treatment of electron correlation. This type of charge model should be useful in the future development of solvation models and force fields designed to estimate intramolecular interactions of nitramines in the condensed phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-151
Number of pages19
JournalTheoretical Chemistry Accounts
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005


  • Basis set MIDI!
  • Dipole moments
  • Materials, high-energy
  • Nitramines, inversion barrier
  • Partial charges, class IV


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